'Catastrophic' risk of death for 300,000 Yemeni children trapped by attack

Enlarge this image

The Red Sea port, controlled by Iran-aligned rebels known as Houthis, is the main point of entry for food and medicine in the war-torn country, which is already on the brink of starvation. But it could set off a prolonged street-by-street battle that inflicts heavy casualties.

Reem al-Hashimy, the UAE minister of state for worldwide cooperation, has said if the port is wrested from the Houthis, the coalition could ease controls aimed at denying the group arms and ease the flow of goods and aid into Yemen, where millions face starvation and disease.

The Saudi-led coalition has been accused of conducting indiscriminate and unlawful airstrikes, as well as blocking food, fuel, and medicine into Yemen, according to Human Rights Watch. Around two-thirds of the country's population of 27 million relies on aid and 8.4 million are already at risk of starving.

Before dawn Wednesday, convoys of vehicles appeared to be heading toward the rebel-held city, according to videos posted on social media.

Large-scale ground operations, supported by the air and naval forces of the Saudi-led coalition, began to move in on the city from numerous directions, a military source told the publication. In August 2015, air strikes disabled four giant mobile cranes, drastically slowing the unloading of food until they were replaced by the United States - which supports the coalition - this January.

Jolien Veldwijk, acting director for Care International in Yemen, told Al Jazeera that the port of Hudaida is crucial for aid agencies to be able to do their work.

We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting.

Yemeni residents in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida say the Saudi-led coalition has dropped leaflets advising them to stay away from military and security points, and to stay in their homes, amid the coalition's assault.

The officials said government forces have headed to the eastern coast aiming at cutting off a rebel supply line between Hodeida and Sanaa. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to brief journalists.

Tony Award Windfall to Boost 'The Band's Visit'
Laurie Metcalf won her second Tony, playing a younger version of Jackson's imperious character in Three Tall Women . Of its 11 nominations, " The Band's Visit " received 10 Tony awards - the most for any nominees of the night.

The operation, called Golden Victory, was launched after "exhausting all peaceful and political means", Yemen's government said in a statement.

The Trump administration last week was reportedly considering helping the UAE, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition, in an assault on Hodeidah.

"The Houthi's continued obstruction with regards to Hodeidah is due to their use of the port to raise revenues through looting, extortion, and illegal taxation imposed on commercial ships to finance and sustain their military aggression against Yemen and neighboring countries", he added. There was no immediate confirmation from the coalition. The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, whose area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, referred questions to the Pentagon, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Field commanders said that troops pushed towards Hodeida airport after Yemeni pro-government forces received a "green light" from the coalition. The port is some 150 kilometres (90 miles) southwest of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, which has been in Houthi hands since September 2014.

The United Nations said it was engaged in "intense" shuttle diplomacy between the Houthis and coalition leaders Saudi Arabia and the UAE to avert an all-out attack.

The United Nations and other aid groups already had pulled their global staff from Hodeida ahead of the rumoured assault.

"Hodeidah port remains open to shipping".

United Nations resident and humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen Lise Grande, speaking by telephone from Sanaa, said that her office was drawing up options to ensure aid delivery to millions of Yemenis "in case of a possible siege of Hodeidah", including a humanitarian airlift.

Aid agencies have said the battle may exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation in a country devastated by three years of civil war.

Related News:



Most liked

NCAA passes 4-game redshirt rule; what it means for Syracuse football
As the attitudes toward the rights of student-athletes continue to loosen, these rules followed suit. Once an athlete's name is in the database, other school are free to make contact.

Brazil´s Fred suffers ankle injury
Five times World Cup winners Brazil have been using Tottenham Hotspur's training ground to prepare for the tournament. Castro's previous tweet described how the 25-year-old had appeared to be in "a lot of pain" following the incident.

Three killed in Saudi Arabia following Houthi missile attack
The United Nations fears that a battle in Hodeidah could be devastating for the estimated 600,000 people still living in the city. Malki also said that legitimate forces in Yemen are preparing to cut the Houthis' route of supplies towards Saada.

Sony holds annual PlayStation press conference at E3 2018
Sony and E3 go hand-in-hand, with the company taking to the stage every year to showcase the latest PlayStation developments. It's an eight-minute look at the game, and yes, it's still as weird as ever and no, there's no shortage of babies in jars.

Defeat devices reportedly found in diesel Daimlers
A device can be classified as illegal if exhaust filtering systems are deactivated too early or without good reason. It's now unclear how many models in the United Kingdom are impacted.

Neymar shines for Brazil
The first scare came in the third minute following a late tackle from behind by midfielder Alessandro Schoepf. The Selecao superstar moved to 55 goals in 85 caps, equaling the record of 1994 World Cup victor Romario.

Infinity War's Directors Received Death Threats Over Hawkeye's Absence
On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. Since being released in late April, the superhero film has broken multiple box office records.

Trump endorses GOP Rep. Mark Sanford's primary challenger
Voters then choose which candidate from that specific party they want to represent that party in November's general election. Some Democrats are upset that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already backed Luria before the primary.

Government avoids EU Withdrawal Bill defeat after last-ditch deal on 'meaningful vote'
One says: "If we do not get what we were promised the Government will be defeated after we have amended the Bill in the Lords". Government sources signalled to the Press Association that ministers were set to back the move.

Kilauea Maps, Videos, Show Lava Entering the Ocean
Lava from the Kilauea volcano continues to erupt from a fissure and forms a river of lava flowing down to Kapoho. The lava is "enough to cover Manhattan 6.5 feet deep" and fill 11.3 million average dump trucks, it said.

How Vettel and Ferrari turned 'disaster' into triumph
He said the win was special because it came 40 years after Canadian Gilles Villeneuve had won his first race for Ferrari . That meant the engine was running hot and we had to manage temperatures, costing performance, in the opening stint.

Colorado 416 Fire doubles in size; 1300 homes evacuated
Emergency responders say they've kept a week-old wildfire in southwestern Colorado from destroying any houses so far. An additional 220 homes were evacuated Saturday, said Megan Graham, a spokeswoman for La Plata County, Colorado.

Hollow Knight coming to Nintendo Switch today
The Switch's online services are now free, but starting in September Nintendo will begin to charge for online multiplayer. A brand new skin is now available in Fortnite-but it's exclusive for players with PlayStation Plus accounts.

Kim Jong-Un Must Be Pretty Happy Right Now
Joint U.S. and South Korea military exercises occur regularly on the Korean Peninsula and have long angered North Korea , with Mr. A spokeswoman for United States military forces in Korea said it had not received any direction to cease joint military drills.

Draymond Green once again trolled LeBron James at the Warriors championship parade
But, he confirmed he will remain in Golden State at multiple points during the regular-season and most recently a couple days ago. Ed Davis - a rebounding machine that has tormented the Warriors as a member of the Blazers in recent years.